Saturday, July 21, 2007

Edwards: Atlantic Editor Exposes Media Bias

There have been recent (disturbing) indications that members of the national press corps have employed direct bias against John Edwards in their paid public appearances.

Now blogger/associate editor Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic Online is indicating (through various edited versions of his blogpost) that a good number of the national press corps are predispositioned to be lined up to form a firing squad against John Edwards:

...fairly or unfairly, a healthy chunk of the national political press corps doesn't like John Edwards...

- from the virgin edition of the blogpost by Mr. Ambinder

What I found to be disappointing is that Mr. Ambinder doesn't seem to care to fight against the false (and apparently deliberate) framing of Mr. Edwards and his campaign. (read the entirety of the Daily Kos diary that exposes (even with each revision of the virgin blogpost) Mr. Ambinder's apparent justification for the false framing.

I commented to Mr. Ambinder at the Atlantic website.

Marc wrote:
[Edwards] advances himself as the champion of regular people. His surrogates tout his ability to identify with the concerns of regular people. He goes out of his way to present himself as a regular guy.

This is a tired and misleading concept. The mainstream media needs to get real in their reporting rather than playing in to false frames. There is no such thing in America as a "regular guy" becoming President. It takes a lot of dough...and the same national press corps that rips Edwards apart for seeking to alleviate poverty ignores him for not raising as much money as others. Who are the intellectually dishonest hypocrites, really - Edwards or the press corps who allegedly hate him?

Edwards makes no pretense when he tells the story of coming up from an average (less than affluent) American family and working his way - the hard and honest way - to becoming economically successful. If he wants the same opportunity for others and will govern accordingly, it doesn't make him a liar or a hypocrite about who he is. He has nothing to hide.

The fact (per Marc, who I believe needs to come clean with names) that the national press corps hates Edwards' guts is a real Fourth Estate problem of ethics and fairness.

This could be a key to a much bigger story. Marc, perhaps you could expand on the real story here - which is blatant press corps bias. We all know that the media fancies themselves as Kingmakers. In this case, they appear to be deliberate Kingslayers. They have no right to employ bias in order to set up an American election in a society that we know is so media-saturated. No right.

The first comment under the oft-edited Ambinder Atlantic blogpost says it best:

YOU are the media. If you believe the press is being unfair to John Edwards, do something about it. Don't mask it in "fairly or unfairly" language like you did in your original post.

Who do you know that doesn't like John Edwards and reflects it in their coverage? Out them.

Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2007 3:55 PM

UPDATE - Jamison Foser has further commentary on media bias vs. Edwards.
...Now, if reporters dislike a candidate, that's their business. But when they wage a relentless and petty campaign to "bury" that candidate, that's our business. All of us.....

Ambinder tells us:
"If you're in politics and you talk about poverty, extra attention will be paid to the manner in which you display your personal wealth"
But why? Why will extra attention be paid to the wealth of the candidate who talks about poverty rather than to the wealth of the candidate who wants to lower taxes for the wealthy? There is no logical reason; nor is there a legitimate emotional reason. Ambinder has already acknowledged there is no hypocrisy at play in the former case. In the latter, there is arguably self-serving greed. So why will "extra attention" be paid? Ambinder doesn't tell us -- he doesn't even seem to think the question needs an answer. Extra attention will be paid because it will be paid.